Accessibility navigation

PINCER trial: a cluster randomised trial comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a pharmacist-led IT-based intervention with simple feedback in reducing rates of clinically important errors in medicines management in general practices

Avery, A. J., Rodgers, S., Cantrill, J. A., Armstrong, S., Boyd, M., Cresswell, K., Eden, M., Elliott, R., Franklin, M., Hippisley-Cox, J., Howard, R., Kendrick, D., Morris, C. J., Murray, S. A., Prescott, R. J., Puttman, K., Swanwick, G., Tuersley, L., Turner, T., Vinogradova, Y. and Sheikh, A. , (2010) PINCER trial: a cluster randomised trial comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a pharmacist-led IT-based intervention with simple feedback in reducing rates of clinically important errors in medicines management in general practices. Project Report. Patient Safety Research Portfolio, Birmingham.

Full text not archived in this repository.

It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

Official URL:


Background: Medication errors in general practice are an important source of potentially preventable morbidity and mortality. Building on previous descriptive, qualitative and pilot work, we sought to investigate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and likely generalisability of a complex pharm acist-led IT-based intervention aiming to improve prescribing safety in general practice. Objectives: We sought to: • Test the hypothesis that a pharmacist-led IT-based complex intervention using educational outreach and practical support is more effective than simple feedback in reducing the proportion of patients at risk from errors in prescribing and medicines management in general practice. • Conduct an economic evaluation of the cost per error avoided, from the perspective of the National Health Service (NHS). • Analyse data recorded by pharmacists, summarising the proportions of patients judged to be at clinical risk, the actions recommended by pharmacists, and actions completed in the practices. • Explore the views and experiences of healthcare professionals and NHS managers concerning the intervention; investigate potential explanations for the observed effects, and inform decisions on the future roll-out of the pharmacist-led intervention • Examine secular trends in the outcome measures of interest allowing for informal comparison between trial practices and practices that did not participate in the trial contributing to the QRESEARCH database. Methods Two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial of 72 English general practices with embedded economic analysis and longitudinal descriptive and qualitative analysis. Informal comparison of the trial findings with a national descriptive study investigating secular trends undertaken using data from practices contributing to the QRESEARCH database. The main outcomes of interest were prescribing errors and medication monitoring errors at six- and 12-months following the intervention. Results: Participants in the pharmacist intervention arm practices were significantly less likely to have been prescribed a non-selective NSAID without a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) if they had a history of peptic ulcer (OR 0.58, 95%CI 0.38, 0.89), to have been prescribed a beta-blocker if they had asthma (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.58, 0.91) or (in those aged 75 years and older) to have been prescribed an ACE inhibitor or diuretic without a measurement of urea and electrolytes in the last 15 months (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.34, 0.78). The economic analysis suggests that the PINCER pharmacist intervention has 95% probability of being cost effective if the decision-maker’s ceiling willingness to pay reaches £75 (6 months) or £85 (12 months) per error avoided. The intervention addressed an issue that was important to professionals and their teams and was delivered in a way that was acceptable to practices with minimum disruption of normal work processes. Comparison of the trial findings with changes seen in QRESEARCH practices indicated that any reductions achieved in the simple feedback arm were likely, in the main, to have been related to secular trends rather than the intervention. Conclusions Compared with simple feedback, the pharmacist-led intervention resulted in reductions in proportions of patients at risk of prescribing and monitoring errors for the primary outcome measures and the composite secondary outcome measures at six-months and (with the exception of the NSAID/peptic ulcer outcome measure) 12-months post-intervention. The intervention is acceptable to pharmacists and practices, and is likely to be seen as costeffective by decision makers.

Item Type:Report (Project Report)
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:23355
Publisher:Patient Safety Research Portfolio

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation